On September 1st, 2001, John and Linda King’s daughter, Lisa, was killed at the hands of her abuser, Sam. Sadly, in what I believe to be a horrible miscarriage of justice, he was arrested on homicide charges but was only convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He served 10 years and was released in 2011. He has since been accused of various heinous acts of abuse of women. In December 2012, he got only 63 days for assault and battery of a woman. In 2013, he was charged with battery/domestic violence by strangulation of another woman and was not convicted. In June 2016, he was accused of sexual battery of another woman and again was not convicted. Again, for the 15th time since 1992, he was arrested and this time for holding a gun to a woman’s head and breaking her back. See a link to WFTV 9 in Florida for the latest. http://www.wftv.com/news/local/man-convicted-in-ex-wifes-2001-death-arrested-15th-time-in-osceola-county/538984470.
Sadly, too often, this is not an isolated case. How can this be? How can predators like this continue to escape the full weight of the law? How can society be protected from them? We, as a society, have to take violent crime in domestic situations much more seriously and the sentences have to reflect it. My father-in-law was discussing an issue with his grandson and he mused, “Maybe you are asking the wrong question.” Maybe we as a society have been asking the wrong question? I believe the question we should ask in these situations is what should the minimum expectation of a human being be during their lifetime? What should the consequences be if they don’t meet that minimum requirement? Is it too much to ask that the minimum required in this lifetime is that a person never beat an innocent victim to death or attempt to do it? I certainly don’t think so. If that is not too much to expect, then a person who takes an innocent life should never be readmitted to society.
Time and time again, not only do they get out, but they re-offend. We in society have the power to stop it. We sometimes confuse mercy with letting these animals off with a lighter sentence. As a man of faith I recently read a passage in the scriptures which said “…wickedness never was happiness”. I believe it is merciful to not allow those who prove they are unable to act appropriately, to the level of taking, or attempting to take another’s life, to ever see the light of day again. As they are allowed to continue to act in these ways, they not only hurt society, but they hurt themselves and their own family. I have often found it heartbreaking that we expect a family dog to have more discipline than a human. If a family dog even seriously bites another person, they risk losing their life.
I implore each one of us to think seriously about how to protect the abused from predators. We need to reach out to our politicians and strengthen these laws. Just think if these tougher laws had been in place when Sam started offending in 1992. Would Lisa still be alive? Would these other women he has allegedly tortured and most likely permanently damaged psychologically been spared? Would Sam have been forced to never offend again and spared he and his family unfathomable mounting guilt and shame?
At Fix the Hurt, we want to prevent domestic violence from ever happening, especially the ultimate heinous act of death at the hands of an abuser. However, when it does occur, we want to do everything possible to eliminate the recurrence of the abuse.